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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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ÞjóðA Magnfl 17II

Diana Whaley (ed.) 2009, ‘Þjóðólfr Arnórsson, Magnússflokkr 17’ in Kari Ellen Gade (ed.), Poetry from the Kings’ Sagas 2: From c. 1035 to c. 1300. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 2. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 84-5.

Þjóðólfr ArnórssonMagnússflokkr

text and translation

Hizig laut, es heitir
Helganes, fyr kesjum
(sukku sárir rekkar)
Sveins ferð (bana verðir).
Mætr helt mǫrgu spjóti
Mœra gramr í snœri;
odd rauð aski studdan
ǫrr landreki dǫrrum.

Ferð Sveins laut fyr kesjum hizig, es heitir Helganes; sárir rekkar sukku, verðir bana. {Mætr gramr Mœra} helt mǫrgu spjóti í snœri; ǫrr landreki rauð dǫrrum odd aski studdan.
‘Sveinn’s troop stooped before halberds there, where it is called Helgenæs; wounded champions sank down, deserving death. The excellent lord of the Mœrir [NORWEGIAN KING = Magnús] held many a spear in its thong; the valiant land-ruler reddened with spears the point hafted [lit. supported] with ash.

notes and context

Magnús continues to pursue Sveinn across Denmark until he flees to Sweden. Magnús establishes peaceful rule over Denmark and repairs to Norway. Learning this, Sveinn musters troops in Sweden and Skåne (Skáney) and subdues the Dan. islands. Magnús sails south and fights Sveinn off Helgenæs (Helganes). He has fewer forces but bigger and better appointed ships. In a fierce battle, Magnús fights all night with hand-thrown missiles (handskot).

On the battle off Helgenæs (Helganes) and its aftermath, see also ÞjóðA Magn 6-7, and Arn Magndr 12, 13 and 16. In Flat the st. is placed between Arn Magndr 13 and 16, and hence implicitly attributed to Arnórr.



Text is based on reconstruction from the base text and variant apparatus and may contain alternative spellings and other normalisations not visible in the manuscript text. Transcriptions may not have been checked and should not be cited.

editions and texts

Skj: Þjóðolfr Arnórsson, 1. Magnúsflokkr 21: AI, 366, BI, 337, Skald I, 170; Hkr 1893-1901, III, 63, IV, 202, ÍF 28, 57, Hkr 1991, 594 (Mgóð ch. 33), F 1871, 189, E 1916, 30; Fms 6, 84 (Mgóð ch. 40), Fms 12, 137; Flat 1860-8, III, 283, Andersson and Gade 2000, 124, 470 (MH).


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